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Published: Apr 03, 2020 6 min read
José Vélez / Money

About 8 million borrowers will still owe monthly payments on their federal student loans, despite Congress pausing payments for the majority of federal student loan borrowers.

The CARES Act, the $2.3 trillion relief package President Trump signed into law last week, includes a provision that gives an interest-free, six-month forbearance period on many student loans. The key is that the loans must be “federally held," as opposed to "federally guaranteed."

Non-covered loans account for about 12% of the federal loan portfolio, according to The Institute for College Access and Success.

Those who are affected include at least 6 million borrowers with older loans, specifically commercially held Federal Family Education Loans (FFEL), according to Money's estimates. And some of the 1.9 million Perkins loans, many of which are owned by colleges, are also not covered. (Note that in both cases, those borrowers may also have some loans that are covered by the CARES Act.)